The Menin of Achilles

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Anger is significant in the Iliad because most of the central events that take place in it are fueled by anger. The first time anger becomes important to the Iliad is Achilles’ anger at Agamemnon and his selfish decisions. Achilles is angry because Agamemnon brought the wrath of Apollo down upon the entire Greek force. Apollo is angry at Agamemnon because he rudely refused to return his war prize, Chryseis, to her father Chryses, who is a priest of Apollo, and Chryses prays to Apollo that he would shoot and infect the Greeks with a plague so that they would die and suffer. Another time anger becomes very important to the Iliad is when Agamemnon agrees to give Chryseis back to her father, but at the cost of Achilles’ war prize, Briseis, being given to him as retribution for the loss of his war prize. This indiscretion caused Achilles to become so enraged that he refused to fight because Agamemnon damaged his honor. Achilles, in his anger, asks his mother, Thetis, to go beg Zeus to fight on the behalf of the Trojans because Achilles is so angry he wishes for the Greeks to be defeated so they realized how important he was. After this happens, Achilles no longer respects Agamemnon as a leader because of his selfish decisions. Later it is Achilles’ anger that will make him return to the fight and to kill Hector and crush the Trojans spirit. Achilles is angry then because his best friend Patroclus, who everyone thought was Achilles because he was wearing Achilles’ armor, was killed by Hector and Hector also took his armor off the body of the dead Patroclus while Achilles watched. The death of his best friend causes Achilles to go on a murderous rampage that culminates in the death of Hector after the two heroes confront each other outside the walls of Pergamus. Achilles’ anger also leads to him dragging the body Hector around Pergamus three times and around the body of a dead Patroclus for nine days before he eventually agrees to return the body to the Trojans. The...
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